Day 1 in San Antonio 2022

My dear husband dropped me off at the airport this morning at 7:00 a.m. and I landed in San Antonio, TX just in time to take a cab to the orientation for the 2022 Advocate Scholar class of the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF), which started at 4:00 p.m. (and I walked in about 20 minutes late). Crazy start to the week and I anticipate that things won’t slow down! Thankful for organizations like ABCF that make it easier and more affordable for patient advocates to attend SABCS.

Side note — being in crowds, especially those un-masked has become a source of anxiety recently. No, I don’t wear masks all the time, but am really trying not to bring home any sickness. A dear friend shared this picture with me and I just have to share it with you all … it’s particularly appropriate, I think.

During my layover in Atlanta, I found these two amazing women and we were able to spend some time catching up and getting a head start on the connection part of the conference.

Once I arrived, I was very much blessed to connect with so many friends, exchange hugs that were oh so needed, celebrate 25 years of the ABCF, and end the first evening on a high note. We even got some silly pictures … I may share those later. 😉

During the conference, ABCF curates different sessions for advocates to attend, and assists us in selecting and writing about a topic of interest to us. I’ll be hunting down information and data to be able to write my contribution during and after the conference — so many things to chose from, but I have decided to focus on current research involving hereditary cancer and I’m really looking forward to interviewing Dr Sue Friedman, the Executive Director and Founder of FORCE (Facing our Risk of Cancer Empowered) tomorrow evening through a collaboration between Project Life and The Patient Story. It’s a packed schedule that doesn’t leave much down time, but some breaks are a must! It’s pretty amazing that ABCF is celebrating twenty-five (25) years of ensuring that advocates are included at SABCS and they’ve made such a significant difference.

Being at a large conference like SABCS brings with it many highs and lows. It is exciting to hear about progress and innovation as it happens; on the other hand, it can be frustrating when patients aren’t included from the beginning, something that is slowly changing. Much of what we do as patient advocates at this scientific conferences is make connections with researchers and clinicians to help them put a face to those that they are helping, to remind them who will benefit from their efforts. I also can’t help but think about those people who I have met and connected with over the years at SABCS and other conferences who aren’t here any longer.

Highs and lows.

I’ll do my best to recap each day that I’m here — for now, I need to FaceTime my boys and say goodnight as well as connect with my roomies from! Much more to come.

4 thoughts on “Day 1 in San Antonio 2022

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